Grand jury, Wal-Mart investigate hiring of workers:
A federal grand jury in Pennsylvania is listening to secretly recorded conversations that allegedly suggest Wal-Mart executives knowingly hired cleaning-crew contractors that employed illegal immigrants, federal sources say.
Immigration agents arrested 250 custodians Thursday at 61 Wal-Mart stores nationwide on charges of working in this country illegally. Ten workers were employed by Wal-Mart and the rest by contractors that supply custodial services, a company spokeswoman said Friday. None involved stores in the Pacific Northwest.
The world's biggest retailer is conducting an internal investigation and plans to review the citizenship status of all 1.1 million U.S. employees, company spokeswoman Mona Williams said.
The detained workers, primarily from countries in Eastern Europe and Latin America, were taken to Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities in the 21 states where they were arrested. Some were still being held, bureau spokesman Garrison Courtney said.
Workers could face deportation, and Wal-Mart or any contractor that knowingly hired illegal immigrants could be fined up to $10,000 per worker.